Future mercury control strategies and associated costs

Brocza, F. (2021). Future mercury control strategies and associated costs. IIASA YSSP Report. Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA

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Abstract

Global primary mercury (Hg) emissions are caused by industrial high-temperature processes such as fossil fuel burning and metal smelting and processing, as well as Hg-added production processes and their wastes. As they enter a geochemical cycle of deposition, re-emission and bioaccumulation in aquatic foodchains, more communities than ever are at risk of Hg poisoning. This grave pollution issue has given rise to the first global health and the environment agreement in almost a decade - the Minamata Convention on Mercury. AsHg emissions are being regulated more explicitly and strictly within the framework of the Minamata Convention, Hg-specific end-of-pipe air pollution control devices (APCDs) as well as other regulatory measures for Hg reduction have seen a boost in research. APCDs for ‘traditional’ pollutants, e.g. for SO2, NOx and particulate matter (PM), often reduce Hg emissions in thermal power stations and other Hg-emitting industries like incinerators and cement production as a co-benefit, but this effect is highly specific to plant operating conditions, and often lead to Hg emissions being redirected into other solid or aqueous waste streams.
Future Hg control strategies will also depend on possible changes in the main emission sources due to clean air and climate policy. While the decarbonization of the power sector may lower Hg emissions, increased mining of non-ferrous metals necessary for the renewable energy transition is also associated with Hg emissions. Both may influence the magnitude of future along with prevalent emission sources and(cost-)optimal control solutions of the relevant sources.
This report reviews the current control technologies for Hg across all sectors, updating the GAINS database to Hg-specific control technologies, as well as extending the co-benefit calculations, which calculate the impact of PM and SO2 control on Hg abatement efficiencies. It presents a preliminary dataset of associated Hg abatement costs, as well as a review of current and likely future control strategies, laying the groundwork for in-depth projections of Hg emissions over the upcoming 30 years. The data collection focuses on the EU and China, but aims at a global implementation of Hg-GAINS at a later stage.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA YSSP Report)
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 13:49
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 11:11
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17485

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